Cliff Stearns on Gun Control
Republican Representative (FL-6)
Voted YES on prohibiting product misuse lawsuits on gun manufacturers.
A bill to prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages, injunctive or other relief resulting from the misuse of their products by others. A YES vote would:
Reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act;
Bill S 397
; vote number 2005-534
on Oct 20, 2005
- Prohibit individuals from filing a qualified civil liability action
- Exempt lawsuits brought against individuals who knowingly transfer a firearm that will be used to commit a violent or drug-trafficking crime
- Exempt lawsuits against actions that result in death, physical injury or property damage due solely to a product defect
- Dismiss of all civil liability actions pending on the date of enactment
- Prohibit the manufacture, import, sale or delivery of armor piercing ammunition
Voted YES on prohibiting suing gunmakers & sellers for gun misuse.
Vote to pass a bill that would prohibit liability lawsuits from being brought against gun manufacturers and dealers based on the criminal misuse of firearms. The bill would also block these actions from being brought up against gun trade organizations and against ammunition makers and sellers. The measure would apply immediately to any pending cases. Several specific exceptions to the ban exist. This includes civil suits would be allowed against a maker or dealer who "knowingly and willfully violated" state or federal laws in the selling or marketing of a weapon. Design and manufacturing defect lawsuits are also permitted when weapons are "used as intended.
Reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act;
Bill HR 1036
; vote number 2003-124
on Apr 9, 2003
Voted YES on decreasing gun waiting period from 3 days to 1.
Vote to pass a bill requiring anyone who purchases a gun at a gun show to go through an instant background check which must be completed within 24 hours [instead of 72 hours].
Reference: Bill introduced by McCollum, R-FL;
Bill HR 2122
; vote number 1999-244
on Jun 18, 1999
No lawsuits against gun manufacturers.
Stearns co-sponsored against lawsuits against gun manufacturers
OnTheIssues.org explanation: This bill is a response to the success of tobacco lawsuits, which resulted in cigarette manufacturers paying billions to compensate for the long-term negative health effects of tobacco use. Gun manufacturers grew concerned that the same sort of lawsuit would be applied to guns.
OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY:
- To prohibit civil liability actions against manufacturers or distributors of firearms or ammunition for damages resulting from the misuse of their products by others.
- Requires dismissal of any such action that is pending on the date of this Act's enactment
- Specifies exceptions with respect to actions against persons who transfer a firearm knowing that it will be used to commit a crime of violence.
EXCERPTS FROM CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS:
The Congress finds the following:LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME: Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary; never called for a House vote.
Source: Firearms Heritage Protection Act (H.R.123) 01-HR0123 on Jan 3, 2001
- Citizens have a right, under the Second Amendment, to keep and bear arms.
- Lawsuits have been commenced against manufacturers
& dealers of nondefective firearms, which seek money damages for the harm caused by the misuse of firearms by third parties, including criminals.
- The sale and use of firearms and ammunition is heavily regulated.
- Businesses that are engaged in commerce of firearms or ammunition are not, and should not be, liable for the harm caused by those who unlawfully misuse firearm products.
- The possibility of imposing liability on an entire industry for harm that is the sole responsibility of others is an abuse of the legal system.
- The liability actions commenced are based on theories without foundation in hundreds of years of the common law and American jurisprudence.
- An expansion of liability would constitute a deprivation of the rights guaranteed to citizens under the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution.
Rated A+ by the NRA, indicating a pro-gun rights voting record.
Stearns scores A+ by NRA on pro-gun rights policies
While widely recognized today as a major political force and as America's foremost defender of Second Amendment rights, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has, since its inception, been the premier firearms education organization in the world. But our successes would not be possible without the tireless efforts and countless hours of service our nearly three million members have given to champion Second Amendment rights and support NRA programs.
The following ratings are based on lifetime voting records on gun issues and the results of a questionaire sent to all Congressional candidates; the NRA assigned a letter grade (with A+ being the highest and F being the lowest).
Source: NRA website 02n-NRA on Dec 31, 2003
Sponsored bill for national standard for concealed carry.
Stearns sponsored H.R.197&S.845
Establishes a national standard for the carrying of concealed firearms (other than a machinegun or destructive device) by non-residents. Authorizes a person who has a valid permit to carry a concealed firearm in one state and who is not prohibited from carrying a firearm under federal law to carry a concealed firearm in another state:
Source: National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act 09-HR197 on Jan 6, 2009
Notwithstanding any law of any State, a person who is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing a firearm and is carrying a valid license to carry a concealed firearm may carry in another State a concealed firearm.
- If such other State issues licenses to carry concealed firearms, the person may carry a concealed firearm in the State under the same restrictions which apply in that State.
- If such other State does not issue licenses to carry concealed firearms, the person may not carry a concealed firearm in a police station, in a courthouse, at a meeting of a governing body, in a school, at an athletic event, in an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages, or inside an airport, except to the extent expressly permitted by State law.
Loosen restrictions on interstate gun purchases.
Stearns co-sponsored Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act
Congressional Summary:Amends the federal criminal code to:allow licensed firearms dealers to sell or deliver any firearm (currently, rifles or shotguns) to any state if the licensee meets with the purchaser and the transaction complies with the laws of the state in which the transfer is conducted and the purchaser's state of residence; and eliminate the requirement that a licensee must conduct business at a gun show only in the state that is specified on the licensee's license.Nothing in this Act shall prohibit the sale of a firearm or ammunition between licensed firearms dealers at any location in any state.
Proponent's Comments (NRA-ILA, Oct. 14, 2011): This bill would remove several antiquated and unnecessary restrictions imposed on interstate firearms business since 1968:
Source: HR58/S1691 11-H0058 on Oct 12, 2011
- Virtually all interstate transfers directly between private citizens are banned; so are nearly all interstate handgun sales by licensed dealers.
- Firearms dealers may only do business at their licensed premises or (since 1986) at gun shows in their own state.
- Dealers may not even transfer firearms to one another face to face, away from their business premises.
Individual right to self-defense at home and as self-defense.
Stearns co-sponsored individual right to self-defense at home and as self-defense
Declares that a person not prohibited under the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act from receiving a firearm shall have the right to obtain firearms for security and to use firearms in defense of:
Source: Citizens' Self-Defense Act (H.R.347) 1999-H347 on Jan 19, 1999
- self or family against a reasonably perceived threat of imminent and unlawful infliction of serious bodily injury;
- self or family in the course of the commission by another person of a violent felony against the person or a member of the person's family; and
- the person's home in the course of the commission of a felony by another person.
Ban gun registration & trigger lock law in Washington DC.
Stearns co-sponsored banning gun registration & trigger lock law in Washington DC
- Nothing in any provision of law shall authorize the Mayor, or any governmental authority of the District of Columbia, to prohibit possessing firearms by a person who is allowed to possess firearms under federal law.
- Denies the District any authority to enact laws or regulations that discourage or eliminate the private ownership or use of firearms.
- Repeals the ban on semiautomatic weapons.
- Repeals the District's registration requirement for possession of firearms.
- Repeals the trigger lock law.
- Maintains the current ban on the possession and control of a sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, or short-barreled rifle.
- Eliminates criminal penalties for possessing an unregistered firearm.
- Specifies exceptions to the prohibition against carrying concealed weapons in the District.
Source: D.C. Personal Protection Act (H.R.1399/S.1001) 2007-S1001 on Mar 27, 2007
Page last updated: Jun 10, 2012